The New QB Landmines in Front of the Vikings
At the very least, the Minnesota Vikings are going to seriously consider adding a new QB during the 2024 NFL Draft. Anything less than a vigorous, deep study into this year’s quarterbacks would be GM malpractice from Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.
Part of the issue, of course, is that there are a pile of teams in the NFL that are interested in bringing in a young, high-upside passer.
In fact, many of these teams are sitting ahead of the Vikings in the draft order. Being able to leapfrog every other QB contender would be a stretch even for the GM who loves to trade (nineteen total in his still-young career).
A major part of Minnesota’s pre-draft process will thus involve estimating which teams will be picking a QB. Or, put differently, where are the landmines in the draft? Which spots present danger for Minnesota seeing yet another excellent quarterback be snatched up before they”re on the clock?
In all likelihood, Minnesota will be drafting somewhere between 9th and 16th. In other words, there is likely going to be upwards of 15 teams capable of drafting a QB before Minnesota gets their shot, and that’s not even accounting for teams lower in the draft that may be capable of hopping ahead of the Vikings.
The New QB Landmines for Minnesota to Navigate
Kick things off by considering the very top of the draft. Currently, these are the top 5 teams:
- Bears (via Panthers)
The initial cluster of teams contains a pair of near locks for QB purposes (Commanders, Patriots), a pair of uncertain teams for QB purposes (Bears, Giants,) and then a team that’s trending toward hanging onto their current QB1 (Cardinals).
Caleb Williams and Drake Maye are going to be gone by the time these initial five teams make their pick. The only real mystery is if someone like Jayden Daniels or Michael Penix Jr. hops into the prestigious territory of being a top-5 selection. If so, then the QB talent pool will obviously shrink in a hurry.
Again, the Vikings can circumvent the uncertainty by hopping ahead of the pile, but there will be issues with that approach.
The Bears will be super reluctant to do business with the Vikings since Ryan Poles would be handing over a (potential) franchise QB to a division rival. Meanwhile, a pair of teams that are starved for QB certainty — Washington and New England — likely can’t be moved from their spot. Williams and Maye are very unlikely to get past those two teams.
Maybe the Cardinals or Giants would be open for business, but the appeal of giving their young passer a talent like Marvin Harrison Jr. would be hard to pass up.
And then there’s the next round of teams that could very plausibly be looking to snag a talented signal caller. The Titans are currently in 7th, the Falcons are in 9th, and the Raiders in 11th. All three have young QBs attached to their teams (with the Titans having the most compelling option) and yet the shot at one of this year’s players could be too good to pass up.
What in the world are the Jets (8th) going to do? One has to think that picking a QB would be advantageous and yet there’s the lingering presence of Aaron Rodgers. Safe to say the veteran QB likely wouldn’t be overly thrilled with seeing New York snatch a quarterback.
And then what about a team like the Broncos, Seahawks, or Steelers?
Currently, all three are lower on the draft board than the Vikings. But, of course, trades still exist. The danger is present that one could jump ahead of the Vikings, perhaps by doing business with a team like the Chargers (6th), a squad that’s clearly not going to draft a young QB.
Add it all together and the Vikings are navigating some dangerous terrain that will present no shortage of spots where they could get in trouble. Or, at least, spots where they could get in trouble if the desire is to draft a QB high in the 2024 NFL Draft.
The best way to avoid a lot of this uncertainty is, indeed, to lose in Week 18. Doing so could result in being in 9th place. At worst, Minnesota would sit in 12th (their current slot). Minnesota could then sift through the teams that are near certainties to want a QB (Commanders, Patriots, Falcons, Raiders) and then teams that could reasonably be interested (Bears, Giants, Jets, Broncos, Seahawks).
Within that cluster of chaos Kwesi Adofo-Mensah would need to pursue a plan that he’s comfortable pursuing. Just how good is someone like Daniels, Penix, or Bo Nix? Does Williams or Maye even enter the realm of possibility given the monstrous cost to move up that high?
The GM will need to be dancing around this danger in the coming months as he moves the Vikings into the next phase of his competitive rebuild.
Editor’s Note: Shout out to Tankathon for providing some helpful information.
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K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.